The Mets lost to the Cubs on a disputed play at the plate

ABC News

NEW YORK — For the Mets, eight innings of frustration were about to melt away.
Stymied throughout Wednesday evening by Shota Imanaga and the Cubs, the Mets found an opening when they put two men in scoring position with one out in the ninth.
As he did, Cubs catcher Miguel Amaya positioned himself to receive a throw, with half of one foot touching home.
Eventually, Amaya shifted left to catch third baseman Nick Madrigal’s relay, covering more of the plate in the process.
As players from both sides watched from their dugouts, Major League Baseball’s replay review team examined two aspects of the play: Was Amaya illegally blocking home plate?
Mendoza’s primary contention was with MLB’s regulation preventing catchers from blocking home plate without possession of the baseball.
“Additionally, the replay official could not definitively determine that the runner contacted home plate prior to the catcher applying the tag.
The call stands, and the runner is out.” “I was 100% confident in myself [that I wasn’t blocking the plate],” Amaya said.


NEW YORK — The Mets’ eight innings of frustration were about to end. Shota Imanaga and the Cubs shut them down the entire Wednesday night, but the Mets opened up when they put two men in scoring position in the ninth inning with one out. A fly ball by Jeff McNeil from roughly two-thirds of the way down the left-field line was followed; it was possibly deep enough to score Pete Alonso, but it was also possible it wasn’t.

Alonso dropped to the ground and ran, knowing that the game was on. Cubs catcher Miguel Amaya positioned himself to receive the throw, touching home with half of one foot as he did. Amaya eventually moved to the left, covering more ground on the relay, to catch third baseman Nick Madrigal’s pitch. Reaching between Amaya’s legs, Alonso slid headfirst.

Amaya was not legally blocking home plate; if he was, did Alonso’s hand touch home before Amaya tagged him? These were the two questions that Major League Baseball’s replay review team looked into as players from both sides watched from their dugouts.

Replay official Derek Thomas made his final decisions, which were inconclusive and no, after nearly four minutes of consideration. To the surprise of many in the Citi Field home clubhouse, Alonso was declared ineligible and the Cubs’ victory was maintained.

Mendoza’s main complaint was about an MLB rule that forbade catchers from blocking home plate if they did not have the baseball. Although blocking the runner’s path in a valid attempt to receive a throw is not considered a violation, the so-called “Buster Posey Rule,” which is intended to reduce collisions, specifies that “the catcher is not permitted to block the runner’s path to the plate unless he is in possession of the ball.”. Additionally, if the catcher violates the rule, the runner may be declared safe.

What’s legal and what’s illegal is sent out by MLB in a memo, Mendoza claimed during Spring Training. The email and memo we received make it very clear that catchers are not permitted to step in front of or on top of the plate. Without the baseball, they are unable to straddle. It was evident that [Amaya] had placed his left foot above the plate in the absence of the baseball. “.

Like with all replay reviews, MLB’s replay center provided the following explanation on both aspects of the call:.

The home-plate collision rule was not broken, the replay official concluded after examining all pertinent angles. The catcher moved into the lane in response to the trajectory of the incoming throw after making a lawful initial setup.

Furthermore, it was not conclusively determined by the replay official that the runner touched home plate before the catcher applied the tag. With the runner out, the call remains in effect. “.

According to Amaya, “I had complete faith in myself that I wasn’t obstructing the plate.”. “I gave him a lane, and they had the review precisely as I had anticipated. “.

What had largely been an eight-inning pitchers’ duel was abruptly ended by the ruling. Throughout seven scoreless innings, Imanaga gave up just three hits to the Mets, and José Buttó came close to matching the score with six innings of one-run ball. Eighth-inning threats by the Mets ended in a scoreless game. They finally found life in the ninth when Alonso was hit by a pitch and J from Cubs closer Héctor Neris. C. Martinez responded with a powerful double.

Joey Wendle replaced Francisco Lindor at shortstop after the latter left the game after two innings due to flu-like symptoms, forcing Mendoza to use his bench early. The Mets did not have any position players available to pinch-run for Alonso.

The Cubs decided to pitch to McNeil with one out and first base empty, and he hit an opposite-field fly that traveled 272 feet down the left-field line. Alonso hurried back to his house. Ramos confronted him. Mendoza charged onto the field in a fierce challenge.

Alonso watched a video replay on the center-field scoreboard while both teams awaited the decision. With his helmet still in place, he waved both arms broadly to indicate that he thought he was safe.

Alonso remarked, “As it happened, I thought I snuck my hand in there.”. However, the call indicated that I was out, so I did. “.

Many of Alonso’s teammates thought he was safe after the game. He did nothing wrong, according to Amaya. Mendoza stated that he was interested in learning more about the situation from MLB, but he and Alonso agreed that there was no longer any time to argue.

According to Alonso, “I hustled as hard as I could.”. “I created the greatest slide I was able to create. I was out, as declared by the umpire. ”.

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